R-process enhancements of Gaia-Enceladus in GALAH DR3

Tadafumi Matsuno, Yutaka Hirai, Yuta Tarumi, Kenta Hotokezaka, Masaomi Tanaka, Amina Helmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Context. The dominant site of production of r-process elements remains unclear despite recent observations of a neutron star merger. Observational constraints on the properties of the sites can be obtained by comparing r-process abundances in different environments. The recent Gaia data releases and large samples from high-resolution optical spectroscopic surveys are enabling us to compare r-process element abundances between stars formed in an accreted dwarf galaxy, Gaia-Enceladus, and those formed in the Milky Way. Aims. Our aim is to understand the origin of r-process elements in Gaia-Enceladus. Methods. We first constructed a sample of stars so that our study on Eu abundance is not affected by the detection limit. We then kinematically selected 76 Gaia-Enceladus stars and 81 in situ stars from the Galactic Archaeology with HERMES (GALAH) DR3, of which 47 and 55 stars, respectively, can be used to study Eu reliably. Results. Gaia-Enceladus stars clearly show higher ratios of [Eu/Mg] than in situ stars. High [Eu/Mg] along with low [Mg/Fe] are also seen in relatively massive satellite galaxies such as the LMC, Fornax, and Sagittarius dwarfs. On the other hand, unlike these galaxies, Gaia-Enceladus does not show enhanced [Ba/Eu] or [La/Eu] ratios suggesting a lack of significant s-process contribution. From comparisons with simple chemical evolution models, we show that the high [Eu/Mg] of Gaia-Enceladus can naturally be explained by considering r-process enrichment by neutron-star mergers with delay time distribution that follows a power-law similar to type Ia supernovae but with a shorter minimum delay time.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA110
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 1


  • Abundances
  • Galaxy: abundances
  • Galaxy: halo
  • Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics
  • Nuclear reactions
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Stars: abundances


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